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Yes, the Celtics are back. KG above at the podium was KG. He said that Doc was his number one reason for returning. When asked about Ray he had this to say, "I don't have Ray's number anymore. I'm not trying to communicate. I'm just being honest." He did say that he wishes Ray the best. I compare this to Perk who says that he and KG talk all the time. KG also says that he sees a lot of parallels between this year and the championship season.
Pretty much every player mentioned Jason Terry as the new player they are most excited to have on the team. Jason described Rondo as a unique player. He said that they have been in Boston since September 4 and have been working together and building chemistry. He said that all he has to do with Rondo is to run the lanes and he'll find him. His goal for the season is to continue to get better and help to strengthen the bench. He mentioned one game last season where the Celtics bench scored just 2 points and he wants to give them more scoring off the bench. Someone brought up Ray Allen to which JT replied "Who?" He then stressed that he and Ray are two very different players.
Doc said that he could care less about the West and that the Celtics have one target, and that's Miami. He said that he will be sticking with his 5-5-5 minutes plan for KG. He also might try that plan with Paul Pierce this season as well. Doc said that he wants Jeff Green posting up more when he's at the 3 and to be the 'fastest guy in the gym' when he's at the 4.
About Kevin talking retirement last season, Doc said that he told him that all season but that he never believed him.
Pierce said he might have retired if KG had because he really didn't want to go through a rebuilding phase. He said that he wants to retire with KG. He sees his own career ending on the same path as KG's. His workouts this summer were mostly working on conditioning. He didn't play a lot of basketball to avoid injury but he ran the Santa Monica stairs and did some hard workouts to stay in shape. He mentioned that last year he came into the camp behind because of the injury but he's looking forward to getting off to a good start this season. He said that his knee is about 97.3% right now in one interview but said 100% in another. He loves the new acquisitions and the mix of experience and youth. He said that they would have won the championship if healthy last year and that they could be sitting on 2 or 3 championships on health alone. He stressed that health will be the key to how far they can go. He feels that the Celtics have added all the ingredients needed to build a championship team.
Rondo said he's trying to accept his role as team leader more this season. I really sense the influence of Keyon Dooling on him when I see how much he has matured in the past year. Rondo said it wasn't easy for Pierce and KG to allow a young guy with his type of demeanor and attitude to take charge but they told him at the start of last season that it was his team now. He doesn't think he'd be the player that he is today if he didn't believe that he's the best point guard in the NBA.
He doesn't take KG for granted and knows that he'll be a big part of winning a championship this year. He also shared that KG is now his closest friend on the team. He talked about needing a guy on the team who could take the ball to the hole, create his own shot and play the pick and rolls and that Jason Terry is one of the best in the league at doing those things. He said that everyone has a chippiness and edge about them and they all want to win. He's been around Boston since September 4 working with Jet and the new guys trying to learn where each one wants the ball and wanting to build chemistry with Jet.
He said that he doesn't expect to dribble the ball up the court as much but wants to try to advance it quicker. He talked about having more guys around him who can finish and run the break with him. He's excited and intrigued about running a 3 guard lineup of Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and himself as a running and defensive unit. He wants to keep his turnovers down this season and do better at the free throw line. He talked about spending more time with the team than with their families and that they treat each other like brothers. This year is all about winning a championship.
A few odds and ends from the rest:
Sherrod Blakely said that Kris Joseph reminds him of Paul Pierce in that he's a better athlete than he appears to be and has that same step back jumper along with the ability to drive to the hoop. Joseph said that last night was like Christmas eve. He couldn't sleep last night. He had a lot of fun at his first media day but said he had to wait at some stations for an hour or more because the veterans kept coming in and were taken ahead of him but added that you gotta pay homage to vets. He loved the duck boat tour with Read to Achieve yesterday, but got a little scared when it went into the water because it seemed to sink too low. He thinks that the NBA game caters to his skills better than the NCAA because there's more spacing and that works to his strengths.
Avery Bradley said that his rehab this summer has been hard after tearing everything in his left shoulder and a bit less in his right shoulder last season. He said that initially he was told he wouldn't be back until January but he's ahead of schedule. He's taking it day by day and not trying to force anything. He said that he feels that he needs to fight to earn his starting spot back again and that's what he admires most about Pierce, that he's always in the gym trying to get better in spite of being one of the best in the league.
He's excited about season and is most excited about playing with Jason Terry. He wants to be known as the best defender in the league and wants his teammates to know that he is a competitor and will leave everything out on floor. They've been together most of the summer and their chemistry is very good. His confidence level is very high and he feels that his teammates believe in him because they see how hard he works every day. Even though he couldn't touch a basketball all summer he worked on his game watching film all summer and woked on his agility and lateral movement.
Jared Sullinger said that he'd get hurt all over again and slide to #21 if it meant getting drafted by #Celtics. He said that the rookies are tight like a rock and love each other. Having mor than one rookie makes him smile cause he isn't the only one who has to go get stuff for vets. He has no chip on his shoulder from sliding in the draft. He said it's more like a boulder. He said that he has no concerns or problems with his back. Playing with KG was fun and that you could feel a difference in the level of intensity when he was on the court. He picked #7 because his mother's birthday is in July, which is the 7th month. He picked it to honor her. Oh my! I just love this kid!!!
Dionte Christmas said that Doc Rivers is everything he has been advertised to be. He's very humbled to be going through camp with the Celtics after his journey to get there. He was known as a shooter coming out of high school and he feels that his time in Europe helped him to be a better all around player.
Fab Melo described KG as very big and intimidating and very hard to guard. He wants to play hard all the time and make sure KG doesn't have to get his attention. He wants to do the dirty work out on the court: block shots, rebound, take charges. He thinks he can come around a lot faster than people think. He credited Tyronn Lue for helping him a lot in summer league. He was supposed to go to Vegas SL with the Rockets but when he was asked to stay with the Celtics, he knew that was where he wanted to be. He has learned a lot from Jason Terry who has taken him under his wing this summer. He said that Jet is in the best shape of anyone on the team. He's trying to be a sponge and learning all he can.
Chris Wilcox said he is about 90 percent. He said that his wind is still not where it should be but he will be ready to go when camp starts tomorrow. Interestingly, he said Jamar Smith was the player who impressed him the most out in LA.
And now, especially for Lex and everyone wondering about Darko's number: Darko Milicic will wear #99 for the Celtics this season. Darko showed his sense of humor when he was asked how he ended up with the Celtics. He said, "I flew here." He's got the Celtic way down in that he really stressed the importance of team. He said he stopped chasing the dream as being the second pick a long time ago. And according to Greg Payne:
Darko looks huge. Seriously. Not fat or overweight. Just big. Like, 'I don't want to meet you in a dark alley,' big.
I guess that answers that question. And finally, one last photo to show what was on everyone's mind today.